Microsoft is planning new 4K webcams for Windows 10 and the Xbox

webcam by Razer

Microsoft's next hardware move could see it heading back into the webcam market, if insider rumors are to be believed – reports suggest several models are in the pipeline, that could offer compatibility with Windows 10 and the Xbox One consoles.

The webcams would have integrated Windows Hello functionality, reports, so you'll be able to use the devices to sign in with your face on any computer running Windows 10 (up to this point the feature has only been available on the webcams built into Microsoft's range of Surface computers).

You'd also be able to sign into your account on an Xbox One just by moving in front of the camera – something that hasn't been possible since Microsoft shuttered the Kinect program. Apparently one or more of the cameras will offer a 4K resolution too.

The future of Surface

We don't have many other details about what to expect or when these devices might launch, but we know that the business-focused Surface Hub 2 comes with a webcam attachment, so the new tech might be developed along similar lines.

And Microsoft continues to launch new hardware with the Surface branding, so it makes sense for the company to edge its way into the webcam category as well. A couple of days ago Surface boss Panos Panay insisted that Microsoft's hardware program was only going to get bigger and more ambitious from this point on.

We'll have to wait and see what the new year brings in terms of new products, but if you've been wanting to up the resolution on your Skype calls to friends and family, or sign into your Xbox One with your face, you might soon get the chance.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.